Five common lawn issues in summer and how to avoid – ‘lawn becomes scalped’

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Bad weather, fungi and lawn care mistakes can all contribute to the lawn looking tired, patchy and yellow. Lawn experts at Toolstation said: “If your lawn isn’t looking tip top, it’s possible it’s trying to tell you something. Changes in colour and texture are often signs that something is wrong. The good news is, many of these issues have simple solutions.”

Spongy lawn

According to the experts, a buildup of thatch of more than a couple of centimetres is often the cause of a spongy lawn.

These types of lawns also don’t grow very well.

The experts said: “This can be rectified by scarifying the lawn. 

“This involves using a spring-tine rake or scarifier to remove the moss from around the base of the grass plants.”

Reddish lawn

If your lawn has a reddish tint to it, the Toolstation experts said this is often a sign of a fungal disease called red thread.

It often occurs after periods of warm, wet weather.

The lawn maintenance experts said: “To treat red thread, apply a high nitrogen fertiliser to your lawn.”

Red thread will rarely kill the grass completely but it may take time to revive it.

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Yellow with white tips

The experts explained: “If your lawn appears slightly yellow with white tips, it could be that your lawnmower blades need sharpening. 

“The white tips indicate that the mower is tearing the blades of grass, creating frayed edges. 

“As a rule of thumb, mower blades should be sharpened after every 25 hour of use.”

Cutting with a blunt lawn mower can cause numerous problems down the line including stunted growth.

Dry, bleached spots

If your lawn appears dry with bleached spots, it may be a sign of a fungal disease.

It could be dollar spot which is caused by a fungus called Sclerotinia homoeocarpa.

The experts said: “It causes distinctive small, circular patches of dead grass that are bleached white or straw-coloured.

“It’s often a sign that you’re not mowing your lawn regularly enough, or that it needs a boost of nitrogen.”

Yellow or brown bald patches

While periods of warm weather can cause yellowing and bald patches on the lawn, it may also be a sign that the mower height is set too low.

The lawn experts added: “Effectively, this causes part of your lawn to become scalped.

“This can be avoided by adjusting the height of your lawnmower.”

As a general rule, experts recommend only cutting a third off the lawn’s height at any one time.

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